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The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action: A Report on The The Toxic Culture of Misogyny, Racism, and Violence in the RCMP

Press Release

May 9, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario– Today, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) issued a new report on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police entitled, The Toxic Culture of the RCMP: Misogyny, Racism, and Violence against Women in Canada’s National Police Force. This report finds that there is shocking and growing evidence of systemic discrimination and violence against women perpetrated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. FAFIA urges the Government of Canada to immediately establish an independent external review of Canada’s national police force that will address and change its treatment of women, both as an employer and as a service-provider.

Following the assessment of over 3,000 claims of sexual harassment in the RCMP, former Supreme Court Justice Michel Bastarache’s groundbreaking report, Broken Dreams, Broken Lives, concluded that the sexual harassment in the RCMP is fostered and permitted by an institutional culture of misogyny, racism and homophobia that operates at every level of the RCMP, and in every jurisdiction. Justice Bastarache also concluded that this toxic culture cannot be changed from within.

FAFIA’s report shows that the culture of misogyny and racism affects not just employment conditions for women RCMP Officers, but the service that the RCMP provides to communities across Canada. Over the last decade, numerous reports from legal experts, human rights organizations, and journalists, document overt violence against women by RCMP Officers, as well as RCMP failures to protect women from violence – including sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, partner violence, disappearances and murder – and to investigate thoroughly and effectively when violence occurs. Many of these reports reveal that Indigenous women and girls face sexualized violence at the hands of RCMP Officers disproportionately, and, as the crisis of murders and disappearances reveals, their lives are also especially endangered by RCMP failures to protect them.

Dr. Pam Palmater, co-author and Mikmaq lawyer explains: “The myth of ‘a few bad apples’ has been exposed as an RCMP tactic meant to avoid taking responsibility for their long-standing and widespread racist, misogynist, and violent culture. The RCMP have become a national public safety crisis for women both inside and outside the RCMP, especially in relation to their role in the crisis of abused, neglected, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It’s long past time that the federal government take urgent action to prevent the rape or sexual assault of another woman or girl by the RCMP.”

“This situation is made worse by the fact that, currently, there is no effective accountability and oversight mechanism to investigate complaints against the RCMP. The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission is a broken system. The Government of Canada must take steps to create a genuinely independent body that can hold the institution and individuals to account for overt acts of violence against women, and for failures to provide necessary protection and investigation”, says Shivangi Misra, co-author and FAFIA Senior Manager.

Shelagh Day, co-author and FAFIA Chair of the Human Rights Committee, emphasizes that “This is extremely serious. The RCMP is a core institution of our country, and its record of systemic discrimination and violence against women is historical, undeniable and cannot be ignored any longer. Canada cannot develop a credible National Action Plan on Violence against Women or an effective National Action Plan on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women without a fully independent external examination of the RCMP that can address and dismantle its culture of misogyny and racism.”

The report does not reflect the views or positions of any of the community groups and organizations referenced. Any information about the official position of the groups referenced should be directed to the specific group or organization.

For more information:

Cyndia Mondésir
Senior Manager, Communications and Operations [email protected]

*The report does not reflect the views or positions of any of the community groups and organizations referenced. Any information about the official position of the groups referenced should be directed to the specific group or organization.

IHT5

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